Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Justin

Revisiting the book "Love, Lucy"

Recommended Posts

Started revisiting this book this week--twenty-four years after first reading it when it was published when I was very young.  The book moves along smoothly as I remembered it.  

How does this book hold up today?  I began to wonder now just how much Betty Hannah Hoffman truly had to work with on this project?  How much material did Lucy truly leave behind?  The introduction in the book details how the family discovered this forgotten manuscript left behind by Lucy.  Hmm, a great story for sure but I do question it.  In all the years since the book has been published we've never really seen any pictures of the said documents she left behind.  Also I find it strange that the audio tapes Lucy supposedly made for this book were never subsequently used anywhere. I'd imagine they would provide some amazing insight to hear Lucy speak about some of these stories.

I wonder now how much of the book truly is what it says it is--a book started by Lucy but completed by Hoffman--- or if it is your typical run of the mill celebrity biography where the collaborator does most if not all of the heavy lifting using interviews and other sources.

I suspect this question--which I assure you means no ill intent--might be received negatively.  How dare I question the estate?  Am I accusing Lucie of lying?  Not exactly.  Just trying to reframe this book and re-look at it with fresh eyes.  Hoping others are willing to do so as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a manuscript. Lucie infact tried to sell it in an Ebay sale. Mary Rapaport won it but then Lucie found out the publishers owned it. Mary has the note Lucie sent appoligizing and 2 unpublished pages talking about the Celoron house.

As for the tapes, portions were used in the scrapbook CDRom. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting, thanks for providing some info.  I came across your other thread from 8 years back about the CD-rom.  I never got that so never knew that excerpts of the audio was used there.  Good to hear.   Would be great to see images of the pages from the manuscript.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely fascinating!  Thanks so much for this.  Any more pics?  😉

Those are presumably Lucy's notes written in the margins and post-it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Justin said:

 

Those are presumably Lucy's notes written in the margins and post-it?

Yes, Lucy's notes in the margin. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you basically realize from Love Lucy is that if Lucy had done this book at another time later in her life I think she would have been a bit more candid. Too many people were alive and she was very protective of her image in the early 60s, so she didn't let too much that would make her look bad out.  She didn't want to hurt Desi so she didn't say anything truly awful about him. But then Desi was good too and didn't dish on Lucy in his book and by her own accounts he could have said a lot and didn't.

The Lucille/Brady book goes into way more detail about Lucy's affair with Pandro but Lucy doesn't name him as he was still alive and really down plays it. Again Brady goes into way more depth of her years in Jamestown and Johnny, which Lucy isn't as candid as she could have been.  

Also there is a part after she was married to Gary where she says that she had come to the conclusion that she and Desi never really liked each other. She also states this in an interview around the same time as she was dictating this book. I think at that time in her life that was the conclusion she came to. But I also think those thoughts changed over time.

Lucy was just starting the process to do a book in the late 80. In 1980 she had this to say. So no mention that she did try a book. 

'I don't think you should write a book until you tell the absolute truth. You can't do that until you're 85, and I don't want to live that long. I've always prided myself on knowing when to get off and I hope it works out that way.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also came across this passage recently that was published in the Jamestown Post Journal in 1963.

 “Mrs. Hoffman has been here this week with permission of Lucille Ball to collect stories and anecdotes especially of her early years here...Those who are familiar with any anecdotes from days Lucille lived in this area are invited to mail or leave them at the Post Journal.” 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came SO CLOSE to connecting with BHH.  I met her daughter here in Portland and somehow Lucy came up in the conversation (and it wasn't me!) and he daughter said "oh yeah, my mother wrote Lucy's book".  You can imagine my reaction.  I spoke on the phone with Betty but she was quite elderly.  We set up a meeting but she was too ill to attend, then died.   It's been so long ago now but I THINK Betty told me that Lucy got cold feet about publishing the book after Betty went back to Jamestown to interview old acquaintances.  Perhaps she found out things about Lucy's past that went against her image?  Betty didn't say what but I was hoping to find out when we met. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Neil said:

I came SO CLOSE to connecting with BHH.  I met her daughter here in Portland and somehow Lucy came up in the conversation (and it wasn't me!) and he daughter said "oh yeah, my mother wrote Lucy's book".  You can imagine my reaction.  I spoke on the phone with Betty but she was quite elderly.  We set up a meeting but she was too ill to attend, then died.   It's been so long ago now but I THINK Betty told me that Lucy got cold feet about publishing the book after Betty went back to Jamestown to interview old acquaintances.  Perhaps she found out things about Lucy's past that went against her image?  Betty didn't say what but I was hoping to find out when we met. 

Oh I hope this pans out with her daughter. Just to find out how the whole thing came together and of course the Jamestown trip. I hope Betty shared some things about the book with her daughter. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOVE seeing Lucy's edits, corrections etc. in her own hand (sure ain't Wanda's :HALKING:). Much as I loved "Love, Lucy" I kinda wish she'd revisited it later in life...perhaps after she'd had her stroke and had endured/experienced even more in the intervening years...and included those what, extra 20 +/- years? (Can't remember where it left off, I need to re-read it.)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, JoeySoCal said:

LOVE seeing Lucy's edits, corrections etc. in her own hand (sure ain't Wanda's :HALKING:). stroke and had endured/experienced even more in the intervening years...and included those what, extra 20 +/- years? (Can't remember where it left off, I need to re-read it.)

I read this in a Talk magazine (out of print mag) article from 1999.  Lucy in the late 80's was toying with writing a book and was wondering if she should tell stories about her friends and colleagues or not.  Sort of dish the dirt, or actually use real names and not vague references.  She thought what the hell most of them are dead now anyways.  Well she mentions this to Lucie and Lucie says that maybe she should talk to a therapist to get through some of her feelings and get an understanding on what she would like to say.  Well Lucy just flips out and no way, no how is going to see a shrink.  In her time if that got in the papers you were seeing a shrink everyone thought you were crazy.  Well Lucie admits she was talking to one and Lucy just hit the roof.  This was apparently in Palm Springs.  Lucie said she had to pack up and take the kids and leave.  They didn't talk for awhile.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting and I don't have a hard time picturing it happening but... I thought that Lucy and some of the rest of the family had seeked counseling in dealing with Desi Jr's drug abuse? Would have sworn I read that somewhere recently (likely here, wish I could recall)...or was she referring to a Dr. Peale or other "religious" type as compared to a shrink? I'm a bit confused.... 😮

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JoeySoCal said:

I thought that Lucy and some of the rest of the family had seeked counseling in dealing with Desi Jr's drug abuse? Would have sworn I read that somewhere recently (likely here, wish I could recall)...or was she referring to a Dr. Peale or other "religious" type as compared to a shrink? I'm a bit confused.... 😮

In the book Desilu it says the whole family participated in the counseling things for Desi Jr. during his recovery. He stated it again in the chapter he wrote for the Suzanne Summers book. I wonder if Lucy viewed that more as I'm getting help for my kid and not counseling about her.

Also in various interviews after she finished Here's Lucy and got really depressed, at Gary's and maybe other's urging she saw a therapist. She said it wasn't helpful because she knew what was wrong and why she was depressed, she missed her work. So she just had to get over that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Justin said:

Thanks @Luvsbway for really coming through on this thread.  I knew I'd get all the answers I needed by posting here.  

Happy to help. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...